「Thanks to Michel, there’s tons of girls here today too, and tons of refreshments too!」
「And today, Kinoshita has plans of visiting too!」
「Clean up, clean up!」 A member waved the broom about.
「Pest control~ Pest control~ Mr. Cockroach, please come out~!」
「Is it in here? Hiding in the crevices, reading sketchy books, huh?」
「We’re such heartless insect killers~!」
They loudly moved the tables and fans around. As I watched the members, all in high tension, I wanted to close the door. Even though it was time for winter to come rushing in, this room’s sweltering heat was unparalleled.
It would’ve been better if they’d done the cleaning regularly in the first place, but since Kinoshita’s visits had grown less frequent, the clubroom had gone to ruin.
「Sagiri, what’s wrong?」
Michel watched as I closed the door right after looking in, cocking his head curiously. Thanks to Michel’s great cooperation, I’d peacefully decided to go to France for my graduation trip.
We’d decided to meet in the clubroom since he said he’d give me some detailed advice for arranging the flight tickets, hotels, transportation, restaurants, and all that, but we might have chosen the wrong place.
「Uwah! Dangerous! There’s a scary one here!」
「Yuck, this is… Daddy roach!」
When I opened the door, I saw the members all flustered as they saw a dark black cockroach. It was crawling up the wall, slowly moving its antennae. I thought it was slow because the insecticide from earlier was effective, but then it suddenly leaped off the wall.
「Uwah! Air force strike!」
「Everyone get down!」
It seemed everyone was surprised, and scared of the big roach.
It couldn’t be helped, so I instantly killed it with my special footwork. When I picked it up to throw it in the trash can, the members started booing at me for some reason.
「Noda did it just like one of those cool guys!」
「Don’t hail her! Don’t you have anything to say besides that?!」
「Bare hands?! She grabbed it with her bare hands!!」
Why were they booing? Whose fault did they think it was that the roach made its appearance in the first place? After I glared at them, they quickly continued their work.
「Noda, put this English conversation book in an easy to see place! Make sure it’s easy to see, so Kinoshita knows we think she’s such a diligent student!」
「Got it.」 I put it on the topmost shelf of the bookshelf between the pictures of bikini models.
The members who were cleaning had already switched to messing around. Their thuds and clangs were annoying, and someone would probably show up from the next room if they didn’t stop soon.
「I – Love – Yuiii!」
「I – Love – Yuui!!」
「Aiiii – Lovey — Yuuuuuui!」
Noisy! Covering my ears, I gave the enthusiastic members some advice that doubled as a warning. 「Y’know, it’s just that actions speak louder than words. One action can grab someone’s heart more than a hundred words can! Right, Michel?」 My persuasion was weak by itself, so I looked to Michel for backup.
「Actions… speak louder than words. That’s certainly true, I think the same,」 Michel agreed, smiling.
「For example, what if someone right now is loud enough to bring in complaints from the other rooms? In that case, your feelings can be conveyed so much better if you give them a good kick instead of saying, ‘Shut up!’ That’s what I mean.」
「What do you mean?!」
「In other words, you’re planning to kick us if we’re louder?!」
Exactly. I nodded coldly, and the members shut their mouths quickly, starting to sweep silently.
「Yui’s… visiting today, right?」 Michel asked the members as if making sure. Several eager replies came back, 「Yeess!」
「Hm?」 As I threw the leftover sweets spread out over the floor cushions, Michel picked up my bag. My coat, that I’d taken off to do the cleaning, was put on my shoulder and pressed as if urging me to put it on. What happened?
「Um… How about we have a change of place? I can’t calm down here or talk either.」 Michel slowly rolled my muffler around my neck and guided me to the door.
「Hmm? Well.. That’s right…」 Michel had brought lots of documents too, and he couldn’t spread them out here. If Kinoshita did visit, there would be a huge fuss from the members, and we wouldn’t be able to talk.
「Let’s go.」 Michel hurried me, and the members gladly showed us out, happy not to have a rival around when Kinoshita would visit.
「But where will we talk, if not the clubroom?」
Right as we left, inquisitive eyes were on us. The magazine had just gone for sale a few days ago, so it was still hot news.
Just walking with Michel made me feel eyes on me. It was incredibly uncomfortable. Michel looked a little troubled, but didn’t mind much, and started talking to me happily.
The gazes, wondering ‘Who’s that girl?’ felt very painful.
「Oh—! Michel, just a minute, sorry.」 My phone was vibrating in my back pocket. I pulled it out to the side, checking the screen which said Nonomiya Sakura. It wasn’t an email but a call.
Although we’d exchanged numbers, it was the first time she’d contacted me. I hesitated at getting a call from Nonomiya, who wasn’t really a friend, but received it and brought it to my ear.
「Noda-san? Is this a bad time?」
「No, it’s fine.」 4th period was starting soon, but I didn’t have any lectures.
「Where are ye right now?」
「Near the karate clubroom in Building A.」 To be precise, I was at the stairs landing of Building A. There was a lot of noise so I struggled to understand her words. Michel noticed me frowning and guided me up.
「Would ye come to room 202 in Building B? I have to talk to ye.」
「Huh? But I’m with Michel right now, so…」
「The prince can come too. Won’t take long.」
「Oh? Hmmm…」 It had to be something about Mizuhara. Michel would be bothered, unable to understand the conversation, and it would be bad of me to keep him waiting when he went to all the trouble of collecting information for me.
When I hesitated, Nonomiya’s voice grew more urgent.「Sorry ‘bout this all of a sudden, but… Please.」 I hesitated, deciding to put it on hold.
「Just a second, I’ll ask Michel.」
Michel asked me what was wrong, noticing me glancing at him with a troubled expression.
When I told him a friend of mine wanted to talk and asked if we could drop over by Building B for a little, he cheerfully agreed, saying it was no problem.
Building B wasn’t that far from Building A. Building B was different from Building A and the main building, having a lot of small classrooms, so it was used for seminars or lectures with few students.
We walked through the almost deserted corridors of Building B. I was thinking about how we might be able to talk about France here in one of the classrooms as I opened the door to room 202.
In the room stood Nonomiya, desperately complaining about something, and Mizuhara, mouth twisted into a disappointed frown.